Chaussures Régence Inc.
Quebec City, Quebec
Primary market: Canada, US
Number of employees: 90
President: Christian Bergeron
Off on the right foot
While the strong Canadian dollar has hurt exporters, importers like Chaussures Régence, who buy products priced in US dollars, or from countries like China, whose currencies are tied to the US dollar, have been doing quite well.
Chaussures Régence designs, imports and distributes a wide range of footwear products under the Blondo, BEComfortable and Acton brand names, to chain stores such as Wal-Mart, Naturalizer, Browns and Mark’s Work Warehouse. “We do the high valued-added design and marketing work here in Canada, and the manufacturing is done in China,” explains Christian Bergeron, the company’s president. “It works well, because in the footwear industry, every year the company has to renew itself by creating new styles. Our existing supply chain allows us to have complete control of the creative process.”
Chaussures Régence puts a lot of effort into keeping up with consumer tastes. “We have a big (seven person) design team and have integrated new technologies to improve productivity,” says Bergeron, who joined the family business shortly after completing university. “However we also bought several new patents that enable us to market shoes that breathe easier and stretch better.”
Chaussures Régence does not have a particularly large environmental footprint Bergeron explains. “The fact that we do not manufacture in Canada, means that our presence does not create much of an impact,” said Bergeron. “That said we still try to do our part, through for example our big emphasis on running a paperless office.”
Despite Chaussures Régence’s success, Bergeron isn’t resting on his laurels. “We want to triple our sales within five years,” he says with conviction. “We recently hired a US sales manager and we are hoping that he will play a key role in those plans.”
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